At the Lehnis Railroad Museum in Brownwood Friday morning, curator Beverly Norris asked the man known as Santa Claus if he wanted some coffee while waiting for his next visitors — a group of schoolchildren from Cherokee.
    Santa said he’d already had too much coffee that morning, adding, “I don’t want to be a shaky Santa.”
    It’s been a busy month for the railroad museum. The Cherokee students were among more than 700 who have visited the museum as school groups from neighboring districts. In addition to seeing the model trains and exhibits and riding the outdoor mini-train, they’ve been treated to readings of “The Polar Express” — and visits with Santa.
    Thursday afternoon, students from EarlyPrimary School’s ACE (Afterschool Center on Education) visited the museum.
    Sometime early next year, the entrance area inside the museum will have a different look when the the “Working on the Railroad" exhibit opens.
    The museum is also hopeful of adding a second mini-train locomotive, enabling the museum to run two trains simultaneously during heavy ridership.
    As Santa — also known as Rusty Rogers — prepared to suit up to meet the Cherokee students, Santa said he’d left his reindeer at the North Pole. When children ask him how he got to Brownwood, he tells them he rode in on the Polar Express.
    “Modern day — this Santa has to fill out a W-9,” Norris said, referring to a tax form. “As you can see, he’s a great Santa.”